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A file GeoDataBase (GDB) is a collection of files in a folder on disk that can store, query, and manage both spatial (vector and raster) and nonspatial data. Its storage mechanism of platform is SQL Server Express (*.mdf)

Table of contents

Quick overview


It is the evolution from the personal geodatabase and it was introduced in ArcMap 9.2 (2006). It is also preferred over the shapefile.

Description: A collection of various types of GIS datasets held in a file system folder.(This is the recommended native data format for ArcGIS stored and managed in a file system folder.)

Number of users: Single user and small workgroups:many readers or one writer per feature dataset, stand-alone feature class, or table. Concurrent use of any specific file eventually degrades for large numbers of readers.

Storage format: Each dataset is a separate file on disk. A file geodatabase is a file folder that holds its dataset files.

Size limits: One TB for each dataset. Each file geodatabase can hold many datasets. The 1 TB limit can be raised to 256 TB for extremely large image datasets. Each feature class can scale up to hundreds of millions of vector features per dataset.

Versioning support: Only supported as a geodatabase for clients who post updates using checkout and check-in and as a client to which updates can be sent using one-way replication.

Platforms: Cross-platform.

Security and permissions: Operating file system security.

Database administration tools: File system management.

Notes: You can optionally store data in a read-only compressed format to reduce storage requirements.

Additional documentation

Mosaic Dataset (Raster)

Mosaic dataset is the way to work with raster in a GeoDatabase an it reference to lo original source (TIF, ...)

Additional resources

Probably not all the resources are in this list, please use the ArcGIS Search tool looking for: "file geodatabase".

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